Author: Seeth McGavien

Divider
Minimal Distraction EP
Basic Unit Productions
Street: 11.01.13
Divider = Front 242 + Die Form
Divider’s new EP, Minimal Distraction, sidestepped the mainstream approach to EBM and pulled from the traditional era of the mid-’80s early-’90s electronic sound. The dark, surrounding electronic beat enhanced by the vocals creates an atmosphere of aggression and anxiety. Divider is able to capture a traditional sound and enhance it with modern-day elements, which make this EP an intriguing prologue to an album that will be released sometime in 2014. This EP is a welcome approach to a scattered genre by bringing it back to its roots. Fans of EBM and old school electronica should keep their eyes open in 2014 for Divider’s full-length album. –Seeth McGavien
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FatherMurphy

Father Murphy
Croce

The Flenser
Street: 03.17
Father Murphy = Synaesthesia + Wumpscut

The first listen to this album reminded me of a time when I fell asleep watching the 1960s horror film Black Sunday. In a hypnagogic state, my subconscious picked up the horror film and my mind created a chaotic, atmospheric fantasy that made me wake up in a cold sweat. Father Murphy’s album Croce does just that. It jolts one wide awake with a sense of fear, but also enticement. The opening track, “Blood is Thicker Than Water,” is a great example of this sense of dread combined with unearthly background sounds and ambient synth. I really have to say, the more I listen to this album, the more new elements I find. With that said, if you enjoy experimental electronic industrial, you will no doubt want to pick up this album and listen to it, probably with the lights on. –Seeth McGavien

Empty Flowers
The Air You Found
Redscroll Records
Street: 02.18
Empty Flowers = The Album Leaf + Tool / Tactical Sekt
It is not often that I hear traditional rock mixed with ambient electronic themes and can say I enjoy it. Empty Flowers showed me that the two can be beautifully united into an ocean of imagery. The subtle use of guitar and drums when combined with ethereal synth reminds me of walking alone in the desert watching the sunset and wondering where the path I am on will lead. This is truly a unique album that mixes rock, indie and industrial, and does so in a way where all elements shine through without sounding cluttered. For a unique experience regardless of your musical preference, give Empty Flowers’ The Air You Found a listen. –Seeth McGavien
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Sightings

Sightings
Amusers And Puzzlers

Dais Records
Street: 06.09
Sightings = Lightning Bolt + Throbbing Gristle / Sonic Youth

Think about how pissed off you would be if your most precious musical instrument broke; now imagine you went ahead and used it to make an album. This is that album. I enjoyed their attempt at noise rock, but some songs were so chaotic that I had to check my headphones to see if they were broken. The song “Thirteen” is a great example of this—I honestly had to keep checking to make sure I was hearing the song. I love industrial, but this album was far too experimental for my taste. However, if you are a fan of some interesting sounds that embody a steel manufacturing plant and a car crash, I would say give this album a listen. –Seeth McGavien

Helm
The Hollow Organ EP
PAN
Street: 01.20
Helm = Amon Tobin + Matt Uelmen (Diablo 2 Soundtrack)
The Hollow Organ is one of those albums I would recommend listening to while playing Dungeons and Dragons. Every aspect of this atmospheric album had me wondering what was lurking behind me. This album’s melodic yet uneasy synth and echoing chains of chaotic noise are carefully tucked in the background of an unsettling world. If you are a fan of Blizzard’s Diablo 2 soundtrack, I would highly recommend this album. Like previously stated, this would be an awesome companion to any gamer who wants to create a foreboding atmosphere. Shut the lights off, get a proper cup of coffee, listen to this album and see where it takes you. –Seeth McGavien
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Disparition - FAITE

Disparition - FAITE

Disparition
FAITE

Self-Released
Street: 10.13
Disparition = Red Sparowes + Pelican + Russian Circles

Slowly, a journey begins, and the hero walks outside into an unknown world awaiting an adventure that will change who they are. This album is a curious mix of dancing percussion, chanting vocals and haunting guitar—every song begins, grows and then changes into a new audio element that brings the listener further along in this adventure. I really did imagine a hero’s journey while listening to FAITE; it has all the elements of a soundtrack. The first track, “Rise” (aptly titled), begins with a beating of drums and symbols and ends with an ambient echo. In the last track, “Drift,” we are welcomed by a fantastical, disembodied synth, which ends much like our hero’s quest on a high note of success and wonder. Pick this album up and see where it takes you. Seeth McGavien

Jensen
Zero One [Redux]
Armalyte Industries
Street: 01.27
Jensen = Skold x Atari Teenage Riot
Political unrest and a society out of control, the strong hand of the government trying to oppress a populous—this injustice is pushed back with a gritty sound wave of defiance. These are the images that Jensen’s Zero One [Redux] conjures. The grittiness is complemented by the harsh electronic distortion both of which enhance the melodic harmonizing of the vocals. I loved this album; it was raw, brutal and contained an explosion of angst and anger that turns this album into a must have for any fan of electronic industrial. –Seeth McGavien
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Drew McDowall

Drew McDowall – Collapse

Drew McDowall
Collapse

Dais Records
Street: 09.25
Drew McDowall = Synesthesia + Zombi / Matt Uelmen

Imagine opening an inter-dimensional gateway to an H.P. Lovecraft world where time, space, and the very reality you once knew becomes something unfamiliar yet intriguing. The subtle synth in the background of Collapse is a like a flickering lightbulb—just enough uneasy light to illuminate the surroundings. The track “Hypnotic Congress” does a perfect job of illustrating this strange audial journey, and as the tension grows, so does the excitement to hear what comes next. I really liked this album—it reminded me of playing Diablo 2 in my dad’s eerie basement back in my younger years. If you enjoy an electronic, Lovecraft-esque listening experience, then I would suggest you pick this album up and keep your eye on what comes next. Seeth McGavien

Patrick Sexx

The Shadow That Took Shape

Alpha Pup Records

Street: 03.11

Patrick Sexx = The Chemical Brothers + Tweaker

Patrick Sexx created an album that sounds like a coloring book from an alternate reality. The title track has a slow synth accompanied by an upbeat chorus of backing vocals, which create a friendly atmosphere that sounds like a waking dream. Sparking, wire-like sounds and stuttered vocal samples carry throughout this album, giving it a flow from one song to the next. This album is very different than what you would expect—yet, regardless of the expectations, you will be pleasantly surprised by what you hear. I would recommend it if you are a fan of experimental electronica. –Seeth McGavien
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Utah Symphony – Mahler Symphony No. 1 "Titan"

Utah Symphony
Mahler Symphony No. 1 “Titan”

Reference Recordings
Street: 09.11
Utah Symphony = The Tallywood String Quartet + The London Symphony Orchestra

A lot of things can be said about this type of recorded performance: heart-pounding, thrilling, enticing. What else could we expect from Thierry Fischer of the prestigious BBC National Orchestra of Wales? Classical music is often a challenge to record—it is difficult to make sure every emotion that comes out in the live performance is captured in a digital format. This is no easy task. I must say, I was impressed with the sound quality and ability to maintain the same sense of emotional upheaval as with the live performance. Like most classical albums, the only real issue with this recording is the subtle losses of the extreme lows and highs, which is to be expected. I would recommend you dust off your suit while listening to this because it is a fine, formidable release and deserves a good deal of respect. –Seeth McGavien